Protect America's Waterways

What's at risk? More than half of America’s streams

Over the past decade, polluters and irresponsible developers have used the courts to put Clean Water Act protections in legal limbo, arguing that the law doesn’t cover the smaller streams and wetlands that feed and clean America’s great waters.

Right now, nearly 60 percent of America’s streams and 20 million of acres of wetlands are vulnerable to pollution and development, putting the drinking water for 117 million Americans at risk. Polluters can dump into streams, developers can pave over wetlands to build strip malls, and the cops on the environmental beat can’t do a thing about it.

On the verge of the biggest clean water victory in decades

This fall, the Obama administration took first steps to close the Clean Water Act loopholes and protect our waters. This is big news—we’re closer than ever to victory. But Big Ag and developers will be using all their power and resources to bring this progress to a standstill. To get these critical protections over the finish line, we’ll need to show President Obama that the American public overwhelmingly supports clean water.

Our plan to defend our rivers and streams

It is clear that if polluters win, our rivers and streams lose. And we know that we can’t compete with their lobbyists dollar for dollar. But the public is with us—and if we can prove that to our elected officials, we can win. That's why we’re bringing together Americans from all walks of life to protect our waterways. From farmers to scientists, from local officials to ordinary families, we all have a stake in keeping our water clean. 

Our citizen outreach staff has been knocking on doors across the nation, educating Americans about what’s at stake. So far, we've delivered more than 100,000 public comments in support of clean water.

But if we’re going to drown out the opposition and convince President Obama and the EPA to finalize a rule and protect our waters, we can’t let the momentum falter. Right now, we need everyone who cares about America’s waterways to get involved.

Issue updates

News Release | Environment America Research & Policy Center

Environment America Praises Plan to Ban Fracking near Delaware River, Says Questions Remain on Toxic Wastewater Disposal

Late yesterday, regulators released a long-awaited proposal to ban fracking in the Delaware River watershed, which provides drinking water to 15 million people.  Environment America and its state affiliates hailed the proposed ban as a key step to protect the Delaware from the hazards of dirty drilling, even as the groups examine what further action is needed on issues like toxic wastewater disposal.

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News Release | Environment America

Health, Business, and Community Voices Urge EPA to Keep Clean Water Rule

Today more than 600 leaders from 43 states – including doctors and nurses, business owners, state and local officials, and watershed activists - urged U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to maintain the Clean Water Rule.  Environment America Research & Policy Center submitted their comments in response to EPA’s proposal to dismantle the Rule, which restored federal protections to drinking water sources for 117 million Americans.

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News Release | Environment America Research & Policy Center

“Back to School” Toolkit for parents to Get the Lead Out of schools’ drinking water

With “back to school” in full swing this week, Environment America Research & Policy Center today is offering a free toolkit to Get the Lead Out of schools’ drinking water.  Citing a lack of accurate information on lead contamination in water and how schools should prevent it, the group aims to help parents, teachers, and school administrators grapple with a serious health threat facing our children.

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Report | Environment America Research & Policy Center

Back to School Toolkit

Our  children  need  safe  drinking  water  –  especially  at  school  where  they  go  to  learn  and play  each  day.   Unfortunately,  lead  is  contaminating  drinking  water  at  schools  and pre­schools  across  the  country. 

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News Release | Environment America

Fishing and swimming at risk in Great Lakes with budget cuts, new report says

Proposed cuts to EPA clean water programs would halt progress on restoring and protecting the Great Lakes, according to a new report released today by Environment America Research & Policy Center.  With a deadline for Congress to approve a federal budget fast approaching, the group called for full funding of the EPA to protect the Great Lakes.

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